Timor-Leste is a small, half-island nation home to a young and culturally diverse population of just over 1 million. While the economy has expanded recently with revenue from its petroleum resources, Timor-Leste has nascent state institutions, limited human and organizational capacity, and poor infrastructure that constrain broad-based economic growth. Nearly 40 percent of Timor-Leste’s people live below the poverty line of 88 cents a day. A lack of non-farm employment opportunities contributes to high rates of extreme poverty, food insecurity and chronically poor nutrition.
Since independence more than a decade ago, Timor-Leste has committed itself to establishing strong, democratic institutions and a viable economy. As a result, Timor-Leste plays an important role in the region and world, helping to lead the way to more effective engagement between developed and developing countries. For example, currently Timor-Leste chairs the g7+ Group of Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, an association of countries that are or have been affected by conflict now working to transition to the next stage of development.
In support of continued growth and progress, USAID works closely with Timor-Leste to improve agricultural productivity and performance; encourage private-sector competitiveness; tackle Timor-Leste’s serious health challenges, particularly those affecting women and children; strengthen sub-national, democratic institutions and good governance mechanisms, including anti-corruption systems; protect the natural environment; and help at-risk populations adapt to climate change.
Last updated: August 07, 2014
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